August 1st, 2011

Sziget News I: Hungary’s Biggest Festival Not Made for Hungarians

gerendai-karoly.jpgResponding to increasing criticism from Hungary festivalgoers that the event is too expensive and not made for locals, Sziget Festival main organizer Károly Gerendai admitted as much in a recent interview. He added, however, that a ticket for a Hungarian student to Sziget is still cheaper than to the Volt Festival, but that people don’t complain about that one being too expensive (or perhaps not as loudly or frequently). As to why Hungarians may be opposed to the increasingly foreign character of Sziget, Gerendai offered his opinion that part of the reason locals are unhappy is because average Hungarians get scared when surrounded by too many foreigners, because they are not good at communication and don’t speak foreign languages. Well, at least it’s only passive xenophobia then. []

And here is what people were saying back before we forced readers to use Facebook to comment. Weren't those the days?
  1. wolfi says:

    That’s totally false!
    “Hungarians get scared when surrounded by too many foreigners” is bullshit – we were in Budapest at Roger Waters’ production “The Wall” and there were not only Hungarian fans but people from all over (Eastern) Europe and a lot of expats too obviously …

    Everybody was very friendly – we talked in Hungarian, English and German and had good fun.

    PS: The stadium itself and the surrounding spaces where people had their langos (very nice!) and their beers or other drinks was totally clean – we were really surprised and happy that nobody threw anything on the floor …

  2. Tom says:

    As a non-Hungarian I don’t understand why so many Hungarians are bitching about Sziget instead of being proud of such a wonderful festival. Can anyone explain that to me? (I know there are a lot of Hungarians being proud of Sziget too)

    Sure, €170 is a lot of money for Hungarians, but look at what you get for it! Seven (!) days of top entertainment with Prince (whose concerts usually cost more than €100), The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Kid Cudi, Dizzee Rascal, Hurts and many more. For less than €25 a day!

    Okay, many Hungarians can’t afford €170, but they can also buy day tickets for €45 right? Are these tickets more expensive than other big concerts? I think not.

    @wolfi: I’m sure there are many Hungarians who don’t get scared of foreigners, I know a lot of them. Most Hungarians who speak English are very friendly. But there are also a lot of Hungarians not speaking English who have never actually communicated with foreigners. Am I right that these are the ones most complaining about Sziget?

    By the way, how much did the tickets for Roger Waters cost?

  3. "Funny Money" Jackson says:

    170 euros, hmmm? I think that if they offered tents with free ice water and a/c, I’d pay about 40 euros a day, not a penny more. If I had to choose between a concert for 170 or buying a set of new, discontinued tires for my car and a self-service oil change in my garage, I’d get the tires and oil.

  4. C'est Moi says:

    Zzzz…and boring as well.

  5. wolfi says:

    @Tom: We got the tickets as a present, but I think they were around 80 € (20 000 HUF)

  6. Bloupp says:

    Prince is not included in the week pass, if I may?
    My collegue had to buy extra ticket for day 0

  7. Zoltan says:

    Days -1 and 0 are only included if you have a camping week pass. I think it was in 2008 that they shortened the festival from 7 days to 5 and then “added back” days 0 and -1, which the week pass doesn’t cover unless you’re staying there.

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